Looking ahead to the Fourth National Lottery Licence and what it means to you
Our executive director for the Fourth National Lottery Competition John Tanner discusses the impending launch of the licence, which is scheduled for 1 February 2024, and what it means.
Posted 16 January 2024 by John Tanner
We are now just a couple of weeks away from the start date of the Fourth National Lottery Licence. The 1 February 2024 is a date that will, for the first time, see the National Lottery pass from one operator to another.
Since we announced Allwyn as the Preferred Applicant back in March 2022, the team here at the Commission has been working incredibly hard with Allwyn, Camelot and Government to make sure the handover that is coming on 1 February is a seamless one that sets the National Lottery on a firm footing to raise even more funds for Good Causes across the country over the next ten years.
We are excited to be able to tell you more about what a difference the Fourth Licence will make and why this matters. In the interests of transparency we are today publishing not only the Licence itself, but other supporting documentation too. Much of this documentation is about our work with Allwyn to make the Licence a success and you can read it all on our website.
But why have we gone to all this effort? What is so special about a new licence for the National Lottery? And does it mean anything to the tens of millions of people up and down the country who play National Lottery games each week?
The first thing to say is your average National Lottery player will not notice anything different on day one. If you go to buy a ticket for the Saturday draw or have a go on a scratchcard on 1 February, you will still be able to, like you always have done. But over time, as Allwyn rolls out its plans for the National Lottery, you will see changes which we expect will lead to higher Returns to Good Causes.
Second, whilst you might not notice it yourself, from 1 February, a larger part of every pound you spend on the National Lottery will end up with Good Causes across the country and in your communities. This is because we have designed the Fourth Licence to have a new ‘Incentive Mechanism’ that means unlike before, all National Lottery products will make Returns to Good Causes at the same level. It also means that for the company who runs the National Lottery – Allwyn – it will only see its profits go up if Returns to Good Causes go up.
Player protection remains at the heart of the Fourth Licence too and the Commission will regulate the Licence so that it remains a safe product for people to play and enjoy.
Finally, we have built the Licence in a way to encourage investment in innovation for the length of the Licence, by adopting an outcomes-based model that builds in certainty on how long the licence will last: 10 years (with the possibility for an extension in particular circumstances, but only if we see value for the National Lottery from doing so).
The National Lottery is a national institution. Since the first National Lottery draw in 1994, your support has funded more than 685,000 projects, raising more than £48 billion for Good Causes. Everyone in the team here at the Commission has worked incredibly hard to make sure that the next ten years of the National Lottery are even more successful for players and for Good Causes up and down the country than the last and I would like to put my thanks on record to them for that.